ANWR Group has obtained a court verdict in Bavaria that allows its own 19 Schuh Mücke shoe shops to open their doors in the state as of April 1, despite a nationwide retail lockdown, because the sale of shoes is an “essential” service.

The court’s decision is applicable for the moment to any other shoe shop in Bavaria. ANWR, which is the largest cooperative of independent shoe retailers in Germany, will try to obtain similar court rulings based on similar arguments for shoe stores, as well as sporting goods stores, all over Germany, where non-essential retailing has been locked down for more than six months because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They can only stay open in states where the infection level is relatively low.

According to Schuhkurier, ANWR had first asked a local court to rule in Schuh Mücke’s favor in February, but its request was denied. Following an appeal, the court’s judges concluded that shoe stores perform an “essential” activity for the population like bookstores and other types of shops that have been exempted from the lockdowns.

In their March 31 ruling, the judges argue that the provision of fitting shoes, which cannot be done over the internet, is necessary for many professional activities as well as the preservation of healthy body functions and sports activities performed outdoors. It is particularly important for children and young adults as their feet have not stopped growing.